How often do you interview, whether interviewing others or for yourself? I personally have a ton of experience on both sides and I began thinking about the process and some of the courtesies. As in most things, it prompted conversations with my other half and a few close friends. In all of this I have found it interesting that there are varying views and I was surprised at some of it. Let’s explore it…
- The decision to look for a different position or take a recruiter call. This one has the most all over the board feedback. Some think I am good where I am, no need to look or entertain a conversation. I say, what harm is it in taking the call? You are not leaving your position by having a conversation and worst case you are building your network by doing so. You have the power to not pursue further or what if, just by chance, it is really intriguing and could be a great opportunity, you never know. I say have the conversation. What about making the decision that you want to move roles whether in your company or out of your current organization, you realize this takes time, right? Depending on the level of position you are currently in and you are looking for, this process should take up to a year. Don;t wait too long to start the search, you risk checking out of your current position because you are ready for the next step and it is taking longer than you anticipated.
- Steps and the long haul. Know the steps it will take before an anticipated offer is received so you can check your feelings along the way (man, is this hard). Processes vary from 3 to 6 interviews with several levels to tests to essays to any number of things. My advise on this one, ask the recruiter up front what the expected steps are rather than finding out at the end of each step what the next step is.
- Small talk. Yes, you need to have it but be tactical. Gear your small talk answers to the position you are talking about. You do not want to say something casually that will potentially disqualify you for the role. This is not mean to scare you or meant to suggest dishonesty, rather be real but don’t give up too much information. On the flip side to that if you reveal something that is key to your life like a desire for balance, desire for movement, or something of this nature and it disqualifies you, write it off as a loss, it was not for you anyway.
- Thank you notes. Notes, hand written (in some cases this should be done) or email should be tailored to the recipient. Full disclosure, if someone sends me a thank you email and it is more than 3 sentences I don’t read it, awful, I know but true. These notes should be pointed, personal, and relevant. Do not under any circumstances send the same note just with a different name to multiple people you interviewed with in the same organization. When composing the note, point out something specific and unique that came up in your conversation that was not related to the interview rather the “small talk” part. Be genuine and do not use the note as a chance to say everything you forgot to say in the interview, save it for the next step.
Side note, dress for the environment however, slightly better than you would be expected to present yourself while in the role, this shows respect to the person completing the interview.
Best of luck if you are in the process. Happy to assist and provide feedback or even bounce scenarios off of, please reach out.